Football: All Whites player banned after doping test

Clayton Lewis. Photo by Getty
Clayton Lewis. Photo by Getty
All Whites midfielder Clayton Lewis has been banned from all sport for one month after elevated levels of asthma medication contributed to a positive doping test, Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) says.

The 19-year-old Lewis was found to have an elevated level of Salbutamol, contained in the asthma medication Ventolin, following a doping test in February.

Salbutamol is a specified substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list.

Lewis, who admitted the charge, told the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand at a hearing earlier this month that he had not been managing his asthma and had taken 10 puffs of his Ventolin inhaler in the 24 hours before a game in Dunedin.

"All I was told in relation to being an asthmatic was to be careful and make sure I manage it well and mention it when tested," Lewis told the hearing in the judgment made public today.

"I was never told that I could have too much or that there was a limit."

Lewis, who has played three times for the All Whites and was a member of New Zealand's under-20 World Cup squad last year, was dropped from the senior side before the Oceania Nations Cup in late May-early June this year because of the issue.

DFSNZ and New Zealand Football (NZF) agreed there was no significant fault on Lewis's behalf and the drug testing agency asked for a penalty at the low end of the range.

He was suspended for one month, which ends on August 8.

"I was pretty relieved," Lewis said in a NZF interview. "I was fortunate to get the lowest outcome from the tribunal. Lesson learned.

"I should be managing my asthma a lot better."

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